Quick Lit November 2015
I have increased my goal for the year again, from 64 to 78 – and I am currently only one book away from hitting that target.
I have joined Netgalley, which means I am receiving advanced copies from publishers in exchange for an honest review. I’ll always mark them, but I am following the rule of only requesting books I would’ve picked up if I saw them at the library.
Jil Eaton’s Knitting School: The Complete Guide to Becoming a Confident Knitter by Jil Eaton: The instructions are good, easy to understand and very usable, but I really didn’t like the vast majority of the projects. Especially the first ones are, in my opinion, rather ugly and unwearable. If you don’t have the skills to knit a sweater you’d actually want to wear, probably better to start with a smaller project. However, I did absolutely love the felted dog coat. I have only just re-taught myself how to knit (after 15 years break), and I made the dog coat my first project. It turned out beautiful with a couple of alterations.
Baby Crochet Design: Hats and Booties* by Graziana Materassi: Gorgeous collection of matching baby and toddler hats and booties. All of the designs are adorable and inspirational, but my favourite part is the instructions in the beginning, which covers how to fit and alter the styles to fit the baby or toddler you have in mind. In addition there are instructions on how to crochet a beautiful array of decorations such as various flowers and butterflies – this way you can truly make the hats your own design!
A Tale of Two Cities ($0.00 on Kindle, add Audible for $1.14) by Charles Dickens: I listed to the annotated audiobook on Craft Lit, and as always Heather Ordover’s commentary really made this classic come to life.
The House of Mirth ($0.00 on Kindle, add Audible for $1.14) by Edith Wharton: One of the best books I have read in a while. Lily Bart, our protagonist, is heart-breaking in her attempt to be true to herself, yet yearning for a place in a society that is obsessed with status and has no room for those who do not conform.
Knit, Purl, Save the World: Knit and Crochet Projects for Eco-Friendly Stitchers by Vickie Howell & Adrienne Armstrong: I really like the look of several of these projects – even if the names are absolutely cringe-worthy.
Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson: Lots of ideas on how to minimize waste, but frankly a lot of the solutions are a little out there and quite US-centered.
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult ($1.22 on Kindle) by Joseph Bedier: I listened to the annotated audiobook on Craft Lit. This classic folk tale is quite interesting, and I enjoyed getting to know about how many different versions there are, and how it has become a common tale in so many different geographical locations.
How to Knit Socks that Fit: Techniques for Toe-Up and Cuff-Down Styles* by Donna Druchunas: I’m a fairly new knitter, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to learn to knit socks. I’ve been looking at several different books, sites etc., but How to Knit Socks that Fit by Donny Druchunas seems perfect for a beginning knitter. Druchunas covers the history of knitting socks, techniques for cuff down, toes up, how to knit with double-pointed needles, two circular needles or using the “magic loop” method. In addition she covers other ways to do the heel, toe, and different ways to vary the cuff. I enjoyed How to Knit Socks that Fit so much, that I will be ordering my own copy to keep for reference.
Body Intelligence: Harness Your Body’s Energies for Your Best Life* by Joseph Cardillo: Considering the subtitle “Harness Your Body’s Energies for Your Best Life”, I had expected a book that would deal more with having energy – i.e., the opposite of fatigue. In that respect, Body Intelligence disappointed. It was however, an interesting look at how our surroundings, thoughts, attitude, habits etc. can affect us throughout the course of our day – and how we can change these things to achieve our desired results. However, if you are fairly well-versed when it comes to health, positive thinking and basic nutrition, there probably won’t be much for you here. If on the other hand you are new to these topics, I would definitely recommend it.
Virginia Woolf: A Critical Memoir* ($1.53 on Kindle) by Winifred Holtby: When I first saw the subtitle – a critical memoir, I was wondering if it was going to be critical of Virginia Woolf, but as I read further I soon realized that it is a literary critique of her works along with a biography of her life (up until the time it was written, 1932).
Holtby does an astonishing job diving into Woolf’s works – made me remember just how much I used to enjoy my literature classes. She also made me want to read more of Woolf’s works – and I have no doubt I would get even more out of her writings now, after reading Holtby’s commentary.
A Critical Memoir was published in 1932, and it can’t help but haunt me that Holtby herself passed away in 1936 – only 37 years old, while Woolf died in 1941. How we lose some of our greatest writers too soon. I would highly recommend Virginia Woolf: A Critical Memoir to anyone who has enjoyed the works of Woolf, or are interested in writing or women’s history of that time.
The Martian ($5.58 on Kindle) by Andy Weir: I listened to this on Audible, and it was much better than expected. Very enjoyable, and fascinating insights into NASA and space travel as it might become.
The Hard Way Up: The Autobiography of Hannah Mitchell, Suffragette, and Rebel* ($4.61 on Kindle) by Hannah Mitchell: The Hard Way Up is the thought-provoking autobiography of Hannah Mitchell who in spite of her upbringing valued education and fought, first for the rights of the working class and then for the rights of women. I was dismayed, although not surprised, to see how frequently the suffragettes were ignored and disregarded by the socialists – even as they had frequently fought alongside them to secure rights of the working class. Too often the majority, those with privilege, have no problem accepting the help and support of the minority and those without privilege, but when it comes to giving back and fighting for the rights of minority it is suddenly no longer of importance. The Hard Way Up is a fascinating insight into a different, but incredibly important time that laid the foundation of many of the same issues we still see today. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in history, politics or women’s rights.
Frankenstein ($1.50 on Kindle, add Audible for $3.44) by Mary Shelley: I listened to the annotated audiobook on Craft Lit, and as always Heather Ordover’s commentary and insights really made the story come to life. One thing that truly amazes me, is that Shelley was only 18 when she wrote this. If you haven’t checked out this classic, I recommend you do so.
Unleash the Power of the Female Brain: Supercharging Yours for Better Health, Energy, Mood, Focus, and Sex by Daniel G. Amen, MD: While I disagreed with Dr Amen on some of his interpretations of the differences between the male and female mind, this was overall a book well worth reading. Dr Amen goes over the importance of treating your brain with the respect it deserves and keeping it healthy through nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, psychology, etc. and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in keeping their brain healthy into old age.
As always, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy.
What have you been reading lately?
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.
*Received an advanced copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
- Posted in: Writer's Wednesday
- Tagged: A Tale of Two Cities, Adrienne Armstrong, Andy Weir, Baby Crochet Design, Bea Johnson, Body Intelligence, book, book notes, book review, books, Charles Dickens, Craft Lit, Daniel G Amen, Donna Druchunas, Edith Wharton, feminism, Frankenstein, Graziana Materassi, Hannah Mitchell, Health, How to Knit Socks that Fit, Jil Eaton, Jill Eaton's Knitting School, Joseph Bedier, Joseph Cardillo, Knit Purl Save the World, Mary Shelley, Mental Health, Netgalley, suffragette, The Hard Way Up, The House of Mirth, The Martian, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult, Unleash the Power of the Female Brain, Vickie Howell, Virginia Woolf, Winifred Holtby, Women, writer's wednesday, writing, Zero Waste Home